So Kumpei was standing with Ayato in the Coconuts cul-de-sac when I approached Ayato about his Mamiya RB67. As soon as Ayato told me his name, I jotted it down in my note app, but it kept auto-correcting as Ayata, which is the name of one of my twin nephew pals. And then Kumpei told me his name, but before also jotting it down, I lit up – PEI – KumPEI! You see, “P” while IN the name “Ja’P’an”, or the Japanese pronunciation “Ni’PP’on” is an ever-so-slightly rare sound in Japanese, certain in names. This is just a personal observation, and no Japanese person has ever corroborated this (or even been aware of this themselves, but I’m privy to this because my last name is Peterson and I think I’m particularly attuned to this. My take is a little like the letter Q or X or Z in English. We have it, but every time you see/hear/read it, it fills you with a little ZING! Anyway, Kumpei, with a warm and friendly smile, and a “P” in his name was instantly ok in my book.
Kumpei told me that he has scored a João Donato CD, and one that he had been looking for for quite a while and that is quite rare, so he was really stoked. João Donato, 88 years old, played piano and accordion with Altamiro Carrilho who pioneered the Choro genre, then with Antonio Carlos Jobim who pioneered Bossa Nova, the one to write and record with Astrud Gilberto, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Bud Shank, Sergio Mendes, Ron Carter, and Gal Costa to name a few – a legend.
Speaking of writing and recording, Kumpei told me he is a multi-instrumentalist and just dropped his first 6-song EP (Titled “3:18 am” by his artist name “Ricca”) which I gave a listen to on streaming and it’s just fantastic. The songs are all all unique and complex, unified by an overall chilled-out but somewhat sentimental vibe that comes from Ricca’s heartful emotional singing and playing. High recommend, follow the link in his bio (@ricca_riccaaa).
Thanks for the good vibes and good music Kumpei!
More Tokyo Record Style on the way!
João Donato – Sambou Sambou
Label: Pacific Jazz – UCCU-90263
Series: Bossa Nova Standard 20
Format: CD, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, SHM-CD
Released: Jul 26, 2017 (First issue: 1965)
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